With over 30,000 registered runners – an all-time high – the 25thArmy Ten-Miler silver anniversary run took place Oct. 4 at the Pentagon, the day before the 2009 Association of the United States Army Annual Meeting and Exposition.
Race registration for this year’s event opened April 1, and the 30,000 cap was reached in a record six days.
Race records were broken on race day when the first male runner to cross the finish line, Reta Alene from New York, N.Y., completed the run in 46:59.
This time broke the previous record of 47:32, established by Capt. Dan Browne in 2004.
Now Major Browne, an Army Olympian and a member of the Army World Class Athlete Program, finished third (47:49) behind Alene and Tesfay Girma (47:20) from Ellicott City, Md.
The Female race record was also shattered when Samia Akbar from Herndon, Va., finished with a time of 55:25. Susan Molloy finished in 56:20 in 1995.
Special recognition was given to the wounded warriors from Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio, Texas, before the race began, to include a personal visit at the start line from Secretary of the Army John McHugh and Gen. George W. Casey Jr., Army chief of staff.
Called the "Strength of the Nation," the wounded warriors left the start line at 7:50 a.m. to the cheers of the crowd of spectators who honored their heroism.
Hawaii Active Duty Men, fielded the winning Active Duty Men’s team and Fort Bragg Women won the Active Duty Women’s category.
Both teams received the coveted Commander’s Cup.
The Sergeant Major of the Army’s Challenge Cup was won by the Fort Myer Sergeants Major Team.
The Commander’s Cup and the Sergeants Major’s cup were presented on site at the race awards ceremony and were again presented at the opening session of the Association of the United States Army’s Annual Meeting and Exposition at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.
The Brazilian Army won the International Team competition; the All Army Team came in second.
The race course followed Route 27, crossed the Arlington Memorial Bridge, continued down Constitution Ave. to Virginia Ave., continued past the Kennedy Center to Independence Avenue, up to the Capitol, then down the I-395 HOV lanes and finished back at the Pentagon.
"The Army’s 25th anniversary Army Ten-Miler race was a great success," Jim Vandak, the race director, said. "This year, 30,000 runners registered in a record SIX days, EXPO booth capacity doubled, a record 21,524 runners crossed the finish line, and new men’s and women’s course records were set."
Adding, "The Army’s race is known for its tradition of excellence. Results of our 2009 runner survey are in and 97 percent of the runners rated the race as good or excellent. And, 97 percent indicated that they are likely to run again."
The day began with an aerial display by the Army’s Golden Knights, the Army’s premier, precision parachute demonstration team.
Runners came from all 50 states and Washington, D.C., as well as from 12 foreign countries to include Brazil, Canada, Denmark and Chile.
Thousands of spectators at the Pentagon’s start and finish lines and along the race course were there to support their family members, friends or co-workers and they stayed to enjoy the HOOAH tents, exhibits, food and bands and entertainment that were located in the Pentagon’s south parking lot.
Military posts and organizations such as Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Carson, Colo.; Fort Drum, N.Y.; Fort Lee, Va.; Fort Campbell, Ky.; Fort Lewis, Wash.; Fort Shafter, Hawaii; U.S. Army South; U.S. Army Europe; U.S. Army Korea; U.S. Army Cadet Command; the Army National Guard and the Army Reserve also fielded teams and had HOOAH tents to showcase their installations and missions.
Entertainment was provided at the award’s stage by the U.S. Army Europe Soldiers Chorus that also performed at the GEICO Pre-Race Pasta Dinner the night before the run.
The stage was then turned over to Brig. Gen. (P) Karl R. Horst, commanding general, Joint Force Headquarters – National Capital Region and the Military District of Washington, and his command sergeant major, Michael Williams, who presided at the awards’ ceremony.
Horst and Williams, along with representatives from the Association of the United States Army’s George Washington and Fairfax-Lee Chapters and KBR presented awards to the race winners.
In support of the Army Ten-Miler, several shadow races were run around the world in more than 12 camps and bases, including Afghanistan and Iraq. An estimated 5,000 runners competed in the shadow races.
Wrapping up the running portion of the Ten-Miler were more than 400 children participating in their own version of the Army Ten-Miler, the Health Net Federal Services Youth Runs.
Children K-3 ran a 100-meter sprint to the finish and kids in grades four through eight participated in the 200-meter competition. Each runner received a special T-shirt and a finisher’s medal.
For complete race coverage and results go to: www.armytenmiler.com.
The race’s co-lead sponsors are AUSA and KBR.
Major sponsors include: Health Net Federal Services, PricewaterhouseCoopers, New Balance, GEICO, Navy Federal Credit Union, Adobe, SAIC and DRS Technologies.
ASI Photo, TANDBERG, G&G Outfitters and the American Logistics Association are Supporting Sponsors.